Tag Archives: Rosman Valencia

Francheska, Prairie Queen

{This is a post by Calgary Gay History Project Volunteer and Film Producer, Rosman Valencia, in advance of the premiere screening of Snapshot Studio’s Francheska, Prairie Queen at the Calgary International Film Festival on September 23rd, 7:30 pm, at Eau Claire Cinema. There is a second screening September 25th 1:00 pm, at the Globe Cinema. Online screenings are also available.}

It is known that in the pre-colonial Philippines, the non-binary folks were revered to be leaders and important members of society. Unfortunately, their stories have been silenced, removed, and prejudiced by the colonizers. The narrative against the community still proliferates even today all across and outside the archipelago.

However, the community did not die. The community planted themselves and grew strong roots. In fact, in Canada, it cannot be denied that the thriving communities of resilient FilipinX LGBTQ2S+ exist and flourish. They are our neighbours, friends, and our families members that are serving to shape our communities for the better despite facing numerous challenges as People of Colour. These FilipinX LGBTQ2S+ folks possess the power of their intersectional identities to engage, connect, and amplify the voices of their community that have long been silenced and ignored.

The documentary, Francheska: Prairie Queen confirms the intersectional power of being a FilipinX LGBTQ2S+ and explores the strengths and struggles of Francis (Kiko) Yutrago who is an emerging drag sensation that hails from Stirling, Alberta—considered to be in the bible belt of the province. Additionally, this film also shows that The “Art of Drag” is being reborn in the Filipin/o/a/x community. As time goes by, this art becomes a staple taste not only for entertainment but also becomes a vessel of messaging on relevant social issues.

The film successfully illustrates the motivation of a FilipinX LGBTQ+ healthcare worker and immigrant (Francis (Kiko) Yutrago) to improve the lives of their transnational family in the Philippines while pursuing their dream of becoming a drag superstar and an as a BIPOC activist that promotes gender equality and representation through drag and pageantry. Identities and intersections can be complicated—and that complexity makes them beautiful, intricate, and powerful.